Laboratory Life-Safety Systems

Pharmaceutical facilities often deal with toxic gases, liquids, and solids. Risk to the people safety always exist through accidental exposure and contact to these harmful agents. 

As a first-aid measure in the event of an emergency, water-based life-safety systems are installed in the laboratories. The emergency drench-equipment systems, like emergency showers, drench hoses, and eye and face washes, are therefore located at critical places in a laboratory. 

In this blog, let’s explore the emergency-drench system classifications and specifications as advised by American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) for Pharmaceutical facilities.

Drench Equipment Classification

Depending on the source of water, the emergency drench equipment are classified into two general types: 

Plumbed Systems Self-contained Systems
Plumbed systems are connected to a permanent water supply. Self-contained or portable equipment contains its own water supply. They can be either gravity feed or pressurised.

Types of Drench Equipment 

The various types of commonly used emergency drench equipment are showers, eyewash & facewash units, and drench hoses. 

Drench Equipment Type Description
Emergency Showers The emergency showers are intended to distribute water over a large area. They are of two types:

  • Plumbed emergency showers are permanently connected to the water piping and designed to continuously supply enough water to drench the entire body.
  • Self-contained emergency showers have a storage tank for water and with minimum 15 minutes water supply.

Emergency showers can be ceiling mounted, wall mounted, or floor mounted on a pipe stand.

Emergency Eyewash Emergency eyewashes are designed to irrigate and flush both eyes simultaneously with dual streams of water. They are of two types:

  • Plumbed emergency eyewash is permanently connected to the water piping and designed to continuously supply, but with soft flow to prevent injury to sensitive tissue.
  • Self-contained emergency eyewash has a storage tank for water with minimum 15 minutes water supply.

The eyewash can be mounted on a counter or wall, or as a free-standing unit attached to the floor.

Emergency Face wash The face wash is an enhanced version of the eyewash. It has the same design requirements and configuration, except the spray heads are specifically designed to deliver a larger water pattern and volume will flush the whole face and not just the eyes.

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